Mother Nature’s Cabinet of Curiosities
“The world is but a canvas to our imaginations.”
Henry David Thoreau
The inspiration and natural materials for the following crafts were all kindly supplied courtesy of Mother Nature. Practice stewardship when taking treasures from Mother Nature’s cupboard; take what you need, but need what you take.
Most importantly…Have fun making these nature crafts!
- Eight-inch straw wreath
- Hot melt glue gun and glue sticks
- Clumps of moss
- Dried lichen
- Tree bark shards
- Acorns, seed pods and dried fungi
- Using a hot glue gun, add clumps of moss and lichens section one at a time, covering both the top and sides of the wreath form.
- After the wreath is covered with moss, finish decorating it with the acorns, dried lichen, and tree bark.
Oak Apple Snowman
- Three brown oak apples (Oak apples are galls that are produced on oaks from the gall wasp)
- One large burr oak cap
- One small tree cookie, 1 inch or so in diameter ( A tree cookie is a thinly sliced cross-section of a gree branch or trunk)
- Five black peppercorns
- One kernel of dried corn
- Three small black beans
- Two tine one-inch twigs
- White acrylic paint
- Extra thick tacky glue
- Carefully glue the largest oak apple to the tree cookie for a stand. Let it dry. Glue the remaining oak apples on forming a snowman and let dry.
- Paint the body white and let it dry.
- Cut the tiny twigs to a sharp diagonal point and very carefully push them into the sides of the middle oak apple to form the snowman’s arms.
- Glue the peppercorns to the snowman’s head to make his eyes and mouth; the corn kernel for his nose. Add the black beans buttons and attach the burr oak cap to the snowman’s head for his hat.
- Decorate the cap with wee bits of dried herbs and berries. Tie a small colorful ribbon around his neck to finish the project.
Tulip Tree Leaf Angel
- Two matching golden-colored Tulip Tree leaves (Liriodendron tulipifera)
- One goldenrod gall with short stem
- One sheet of gold construction paper
- Two pressed silver lambs ear leaves
- Milkweed seed fluff
- Bits of pressed flowers, ferns, and a ribbon
- Wire hanger used to hang Christmas ornaments
- Trace the leaves onto the gold construction paper, then cut the paper leaf pattern out about 1/3 of an inch smaller than the tulip tree leaf.
- Spread tacky glue over the paper leaf and attach it to the back of the tulip tree leaf. The paper leaf provides a sturdy backing for the fragile tree leaf. Let dry.
- Glue the stem of the goldenrod gall between the paper leaves for the angel’s neck and head. Finish gluing the two leaves together, creating the angel’s head and robe.
- Spread tacky glue on top of the goldenrod gall, use a flat toothpick to fasten milkweed seed fluff on to angel’s head. and decorate her robe with pressed flowers and fern
The Christmas Spider
- Two 1 1/2 inch dried corncobs
- Two small acorn caps, 1/2 inch
- Two wiggle eyes
- Four pieces of 3″ brown pipe cleaner
- 12″ #24 gauge florist wire
- Extra thick tacky glue
- Glue the two sides of the corncob together to form the spider’s body.
- Bend the brown pipe cleaners in half to make four sets of legs.
- Dab a bit of glue onto the bent part of each set of legs, then push the glued section of the pipe cleaner into the ends of the corncob’s soft pith or inner core.
- Glue the acorn caps on top of one of the sections of the corncob to make the spider’s eye sockets.
- Glue the wiggly eyes into the acorn caps.
- After the spider is dry, attach a wire around his mid-section for a hanger.
A spider spun a woven silken web the child to enfold in a stable so cold. In thanks for the warmth for her shivering Babe, Between Mary and the spider, a promise was made. Good fortune will follow all those who can see a spider on the Eve of Christmas on their Christmas tree.
Which of these natural crafts are you going to make?
Written By: Susan M Betz
Author: Neighboring with Nature: Native Herbs for Purpose & Pleasure
“This post about nature crafts is provided as an educational/inspirational service of the National Garden Bureau and our members. Please credit and link to National Garden Bureau and author member when using all or parts of this article.”